CANET-EN-ROUSILLON, France – Taylor Ruck of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre-Ontario earned two gold and three silver medals on the opening weekend of the annual three-stop Mare Nostrum swimming series.
Ruck, who won a record tying eight medals at the Commonwealth Games in April, posted victories Saturday in the women’s 200-m backstroke (2:08.80) and 200-m freestyle (1:55.68) as well as a silver in the 50-m freestyle (24.58).
On Sunday, she added a silver in the 100-m backstroke (59.97) and 100-m freestyle (53.13).
There were three Canadian finalists in both the women’s 100 free and 200 free. The 100 free was won by Rikako Ikee of Japan in 53.10, just ahead of Ruck. Kayla Sanchez of HPC Ontario was fourth in 54.03 and Rebecca Smith of Red Deer, Alta., was fifth in 55.29.
In the 200 free won by Ruck, Sanchez was fourth (1:58.77) and Smith sixth (2:00.35).
Smith won Canada’s other medal with a bronze in the women’s 100-m butterfly in 58.91, just ahead of Danielle Hannus of Swimming Canada’s High Performance Centre- Victoria fourth in 59.07. Smith was also seventh in the 50-m butterfly in 27.14.
Hannus added a sixth in the 50-m backstroke (28.80) and seventh in the 100-m backstroke (1:01.68).
Sanchez was also sixth in the 50 free (25.25).
Faith Knelson of HPC-Victoria was fourth in the 50-m breaststroke in 31.36 and won the 100-m breaststroke B final in 1:08.51 which would have been worth fifth place in the main final.
On the men’s side Mack Darragh of Mississauga, Ont., reached three finals placing sixth in the 200-m freestyle, seventh in the 200-m butterfly and eighth in the 200-m individual medley.
The second stop on the circuit is Wednesday and Thursday in Barcelona. The third stop is next Saturday and Sunday in Monte Carlo.